About Holyhead

Our Mission is to Teach What Matters

At Holyhead, we are privileged to work in a diverse community where we have a positive impact on students’ life chances and aspirations. They should be proud of, and not held
back by, where they are from. Our students are entitled to a first-rate, inclusive and context-specific education, one which provides them with the knowledge and skills to achieve
their best possible outcomes. This will enable them to thrive in a competitive world outside our walls. We will promote and prioritise excellence, adults equipping students with the
characteristics that are necessary for success in a rapidly changing society. We will Teach What Matters. Our cohesive curriculum is designed so that all subjects contribute to the
development of the skills and experiences we have collectively defined as important to our students.

We believe exceptional learning and expert teaching will be achieved by:

  • Staff prioritising their own development so that children benefit from their exceptional subject and pedagogical knowledge
  • Extending students’ reading experiences and enriching their vocabulary across and beyond the curriculum
  • Staff being responsive practitioners through informed collaborative planning and ongoing evaluation
  • Planning for learning rather than performance to ensure lasting learning
  • Recognising the efficiency and impact of direct instruction by expert teachers

We find learning the next powerful form of teaching.

Not all childrens’ needs are equal. Here at Holyhead, we know that better than anyone. It’s important to understand needs, aspirations and challenges, and we mean really understand, because our community is unlike most others – it’s not richer or privileged. It’s real with children who need care and role models to help shape their future, lift aspirations and keep them safe. Our community needs a distinctive style, creativity and ability when it comes to teaching. We are not a school that prides itself on positions in league tables (although students make outstanding academic progress). Instead, we pride ourselves on the children who get jobs and develop character that steers them away from an alternative, less positive life. That’s our purpose and the more we learn from children, the better life lessons we can teach. There is a magic to Holyhead we must preserve and celebrate every day. There is a commitment to listening and building relationships you will not find anywhere else

Our Vision

  • We want to be nationally noteworthy.
  • We are working towards a Holyhead where every student reaches their full potential and first-choice destination. No gaps. No differences to diminish.
  • In order to achieve this, we will build partnerships that improve outcomes for all students and provide rich and diverse learning experiences that complement an outstanding, context-specific but global facing curriculum, clear in its intent and purpose. We believe in a knowledge-rich curriculum and direct instruction by expert teachers.
  • We aim to build relationships that deliver the ’highest quality’ learning and enrichment programme. In particular, we aim to extend our provision for vocational learning, STEM and Creative Arts, areas of learning which ignite our learner’s passions and ambitions.
  • We will also lead and innovate in the areas of teacher development, character education, safeguarding and student support. We pride ourselves on creative thinking, action research and turning ideas into impact. We will push the boundaries of what is possible.
  • We also have high ambitions for our learning environment. We will work tirelessly to develop a modern, welcoming school that epitomises high academic standards and creativity.
  • Holyhead will continue to be a provider of outstanding education and a beacon of civic pride for the local community

Our Values and Ethos

Our four pillars keep us focused on, and committed to, teaching what matters.

Creativity

Part of the RSA Family of Academies

Bespoke, forward-thinking approach to CPD and Pedagogy

Broad curriculum

Emphasis on problem-solving, student-led learning and higher order thinking

Character

Intense focus on enrichment and high aspirations

Well developed Character Education programmes – teachers of children first

Literacy and oracy at the core of what we do

Development of leaders at all levels

Focus on self regulation and positive reinforcement

LEADERSHIP, ORGANISATION, RESILIENCE, INITIATIVE, COMMUNICATION

Community

Nationally designated Teaching School

Active outreach work

Family values at the heart of student support

Curriculum designed to meet community needs

Care

Strong structures for student support

Focus on developing positive relationships

Well developed commitments to wellbeing and workload reduction

High focus on inclusion and equality

Commitment to Quality First Teaching

EXCELLENCE, RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY

If you share our vision and values, we would love to tell you more. We are not satisfied with being outstanding and everything we do is about being better tomorrow than we have been today.

Once again, I thank you for showing an interest in learning more about our special community.

British Values Statement

At Holyhead we Teach What Matters. We take our responsibility to shape tomorrow’s citizens and employees seriously. Our ethos and values; Creativity, Character, Community and Care have been tailored to actively meet the five British Values identified by the Department for Education:

  1. Democracy
  2. The rule of law
  3. Individual liberty
  4. Mutual respect
  5. Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

Our students are taught the importance of Excellence, Respect, and Responsibility and are given the tools to be able to apply these in British Society.

Below are some examples of how British Values are taught throughout our curriculum – this is by no means an exhaustive list:

Democracy

At Holyhead we promote the importance of democracy through:

  • Student voice surveys
  • Student Council

These provide a platform for students to voice their opinions and fairly elect peers.

The rule of law

At Holyhead, we promote a culture of respect for school and rules. These rules are in place in the form of a student code of conduct and aim to prepare students for the professional world. During KS3 and KS4 students study the use of drugs and alcohol. Students understand what the laws are behind these and why they are necessary. We also look at the consequences when these laws are not followed. During KS5 we look more in-depth at the rules of other countries and how they differ from those of our own.

Individual liberty

We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school so that students are in a safe environment where choice and freedom are encouraged. For example, in lessons, students often have a choice of learning tasks. We encourage students to choose a task that will challenge them, giving them more freedom to determine their own learning. We also offer a range of enrichment opportunities that students have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests. We teach books that cover individual liberty and engage students in discussions around crime and punishment, the rights to life, and euthanasia.

Mutual respect

Developing a culture of mutual respect and support is crucial to the continued success of Holyhead. We look to demonstrate this through the nature of relations between staff and students, and amongst the students themselves. There is a range of ways in which mutual respect is actively promoted such as:

  • Students presenting to each other in assemblies, lessons and Tutor groups are encouraged to develop confidence.
  • Discuss and Debate activities in Tutor sessions used to promote a range of views and listening to the views/opinions of others.
  • All Schemes of Learning (SoL) encourage students to think deeply about their own and the experiences of others.
  • SoLs introduce students to the concept that all humans are unique in their own way and open-mindedness is a very positive quality to have within society.

Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

At Holyhead students have the opportunity to:

  • Work with external providers to bring in role models from different cultures, backgrounds including LGBT
  • Make use of Tutor sessions to engage with topical events and issues.
  • Work cooperatively with others in lessons. Students respect others’ needs and interests and make responsible and reasoned judgements on moral dilemmas.

Students have a strong sense of common values across different societies. They engage well with a range of groups from different ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds, including those not represented in the immediate
community. Students have a very good insight, based on first-hand experience, into similarities and differences between their own and others’ cultures and how these are constantly changing. They are open to new ideas, appreciate cultural diversity and challenge racism. The curriculum allows students to explore different cultures, styles
and traditions

Behaviour, Attitudes and Personal Development

We take our responsibility to shape tomorrow’s citizens and employees seriously and invest much of our energy into modelling what self-leadership, self-regulation and kindness looks like. We develop community built upon a foundation of positive relationships that we celebrate and reinforce. We also believe that good character supports higher levels of achievement and we teach our core values around leadership, organization, resilience, initiative and communication to all students and staff via a carefully constructed programme. We believe in restorative conversations and taking responsibility for our actions. We promote honesty, tolerance, and kindness.

High standards are how we are able to achieve such great examination results. Our attention to detail and relentless drive to hold each other to account means our attitudes are never defined by our postcode.

Our focus on the highest quality of education extends beyond the classroom and involves all staff. Every interaction is an opportunity to model what we expect. We are all teachers of children. We aim to exceed expectations in every aspect of what we do. That doesn’t just apply to Teaching staff. This commitment to a high performing culture is also present in our passionate support of wider learning and enrichment activities.